2. Master of Science in Recreational Therapy – Health University of Utah, Utah
The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, master’s degree promises an individualized, innovative, and progressive environment that will enable you to develop your personal and professional knowledge and skill set.
Their program also focuses on developing leadership skills in the profession. So, this would be a good fit if you’re looking to go into management.
3. Master of Science in Recreation – Indiana University, online
Indiana University master’s degree covers courses on:
- measuring clinical outcomes;
- the delivery of interventions;
- administration theory and management practices;
- research in health, kinesiology, and recreation; and
- statistics in public health.
You will have the opportunity to participate in projects, internships, and field experiences. You will acquire program development and consultation skills and learn advanced techniques. Both on-campus and online students have opportunities to participate in faculty research teams. This is a great option for international students who are considering clinical and research practice career options.
3 Training programs for practicing therapists
If you’re a therapist in practice and would like to add recreational therapy as a part of your existing service offering, you may want to look at some of these training programs:
1. Therapeutic Recreation (Advanced) (Online) – Ashton College, Canada
Ashton College Advanced Training in Recreational Therapy is an intensive 39-hour online course integrating all aspects of therapeutic recreation program delivery and the role of the recreational therapist in the implementation of program delivery.
This course will provide you with theory and practice in the various areas of core recreation programming, taking into account your role as a therapist.
2. Therapeutic Recreation Basics (Online) – Training Express, UK
This Online Therapeutic Recreation Course is a comprehensive, self-paced, instructor-guided course designed to provide a detailed understanding of the topic and your key practitioner roles within it.
3. PD Online Series – Australian Recreational Therapy Association, Australia
This PD Online Series offers five free training modules focused on programs for older people. It provides insight on applications for clients with dementia.
3 Great Recreational Therapy Books for Therapists
If you’re just curious and would like to learn more before you do any actual training, the following books may be of interest:
1. Perspectives on Recreational Therapy – David Austin and Brian McCormick
Perspectives on Recreational Therapy provides a detailed introduction and perspectives on issues and concerns in recreational therapy. This book offers up-to-date theoretical perspectives that support recreational therapy practice.
Providing perspectives related to the profession, with topics such as the historical development of recreational therapy, health care regulations and recreational therapy, and research in recreational therapy.
It also provides guidance on being a professional, exploring topics such as continuing education and ethics. In general, this book serves as a great foundation for new or aspiring recreational practitioners.
Find the book on Amazon.
2. Recreational Therapy for Specific Diagnoses and Conditions – Heather Porter
This book offers in-depth descriptions of 39 diagnoses and conditions that recreational therapists treat.
Each chapter describes the diagnosis or condition, followed by the causes of the condition; social, emotional, and bodily systems affected; secondary problems that may be found; and information about the patient’s prognosis.
The chapters then go on to provide detailed guidance regarding the assessment process. Recreational Therapy for Specific Diagnoses and Conditions will help you accurately assess your clients and plan your treatment program.
Find the book on Amazon.
3. Recreational Therapy: Evidence-Based Interventions for Enhancing Mental Health and Incorporating Recreational Therapy into Holistic Treatment Plans for Health and Well-being – Daphne Killian
Daphne’s book explores evidence-based interventions that enhance mental health. Her book will help you discover how Recreational Therapy seamlessly integrates into holistic treatment plans for overall wellbeing.
Illuminating the full potential of Recreational Therapy, this inclusive guide presents a diverse range of interventions aimed at enhancing mental health and overall wellbeing. It will help you embrace the therapeutic power of recreation to nurture a balanced and fulfilling life.
Find the book on Amazon.
Our site has several resources that may be helpful to you as a practicing therapist or even if you’re starting your career and looking for guidance. The following articles make for informative related reading:
The Meaning & Valued Living Masterclass© is an online program for therapists, psychologists, counselors, coaches, and practitioners who want to help their clients find meaning and discover their values. This masterclass will help you to plan activities that are aligned with your clients’ values and have and or create meaning for your clients.
The On Becoming a Therapist will be particularly helpful if you’re starting your career journey and need guidance. This 96-page manual provides insight into how you can build your career and explore the settings in which you might work, as well as a wealth of information about the education, certifications, and standard practices involved in becoming a therapist.
If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, this signature collection contains 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners. Use them to help others flourish and thrive.
A Take-Home Message
Recreational therapy is an effective and versatile way to address clinical problems and improve wellbeing. It can be performed in multiple settings to address various conditions. This approach can be particularly helpful to address symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions and improve mental wellbeing.
Closely linked to positive psychology principles, Recreational Therapy focuses on improving or enhancing clients’ emotional wellbeing. Further links to positive psychology can be noted in that both approaches encourage focus and engagement, leading to flow state. In addition, both acknowledge that a treatment plan that is meaningful to the client leads to a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Working as a recreational therapist can be a very satisfying occupation due to its creative and versatile nature. Qualification in recreational therapy requires training, internship, and certification in some countries. Training options seem fairly limited, but there are several good options in the US and online, and your local association may offer workshops and short courses.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.